This winter, Switzerland was the only country in Europe to open ski resorts all season, and to all. In an unwavering act of defiance despite huge pressure from EU countries to close, the Swiss government remained steadfast and opened ski resorts at a time when other European nations were entering their second waves and locking down. At the start of the season, as Christmas approached, new contagious variants had been discovered, travel bans were being reintroduced and the World Health Organisation was urging caution – specifically to skiers. Now the winter is at its end, Swiss resorts are congratulating themselves on operating a safe and successful season, against all odds. Jean-Daniel Clivaz, ski instructor and president of Crans-Montana tourism, summed up the feeling among resorts: “Switzerland has achieved a good balance between restrictions to keep Covid-19 numbers down, and, prioritising the mental and physical health benefits to people of being in the mountains.” In fact, the defiant Swiss never doubted that their lucrative ski season would go ahead – despite a global health crisis. Rolf Wegmüller, resort director in Wengen, said: “Opening for winter was never in doubt, we had the Government’s support and just had to wait to hear from the authorities about the measures we needed to implement.” With the Government backing the ski season the mood in Switzerland was positive. Wegmüller explained “there was very little opposition” to reopening resorts from the Swiss, any grumblings only came from residents in big cities, “who don’t ski and whose jobs aren’t linked to tourism.” – across the border in Austria the nation was also divided.